PSN sets up Ben Ukwuoma Memorial Health Awards
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has announced the institution of The Ben Ukwuoma Health Awards in honour of the late Mr. Benjamin Chima Ukwuoma who was until his death the Acting News Editor and Health Editor of The Guardian Newspapers.
The annual award would be given to the best health correspondent in the country, who would be determined by a panel of assessors set up by the Society. The inaugural awards would be given out this today, Thursday November 12, 2015, at a gala night of the 88th Annual National Conference of the Society tagged “Unity 2015,” holding in Abuja from November 9 to 14, 2015.
Mr. Ukwuoma died on February 20, 2012, aged 50, after a brief illness suspected to be complications of Type 2 diabetes. The late Ukwuoma was described as a thoroughbred and versatile journalist and a leading light and doyen of healthcare reporting in the country.
The Uratta-Owerri of Imo State native and graduate of Biochemistry from the University of Calabar, Cross River State. Ukwuoma joined The Guardian on September 25, 1989 as Health Reporter.
The President of PSN, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, told The Guardian: “We at the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria believe that Mr. Ukwuoma was a big blessing to journalism and he surely added value to numerous programmes of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and its appendages.
Akintayo, whose tenure would end this week, was unanimously elected at a full capacity AGM of the PSN at the modern Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library on November 8, 2012.
Akintayo in his valedictory speech at the AGM said he has met the 13-point Presidential Manifesto branded with the sobriquet “synthesizing structures of the greatest possibilities.”
The manifesto itself was structured as a 13-point agenda with prime motive to oil the PSN machine for improved performance.
The 13-point agenda include: setting up of the pharmacy academy; fee based practice and use of professional seal; PSN I.D Directory, I. D cards and certificate of membership; pricing of drugs; professional studies; judicial redress of offensive development; establishment of the National Postgraduate College of Pharmacists; the routine programmes; World Pharmacists Day; World Disease Days; welfare of pharmacists; relationship with professional bodies, global platforms and other affiliate groups; and advocacy and media relations.
Akintayo said: “As at the 2014 Annual National Conference, I had reported to the AGM that we had effectively delivered in 12 out of the 13 major areas of deliverables.
“In pursuance of our progressive agenda to orientate the National Conference as the platform of a grandeur of luxurious boom we have invited Prof. Oparah, who is a Fellow of PSN (FPSN), to give us insight into the choice of theme: “Advancing Pharmacy through Strategic Workforce Development in Practice Settings”. Prof. Azuka Oparah, who is thoroughly equipped to do this as I am too sure most of you remember him as the very successful immediate past Secretary General of West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.
“It is my conviction that after a quality keynote address at this conference lives will change and destinies will attain overflowing greatness. Colleagues would have observed our consistent reforms in information technology processes to drive this conference.
“Our VIP forum will recognize all key government functionaries who have assisted us in the last three years as we appreciate them and give them insight into new projections. Do take advantage of the Social Night on Thursday November 12, 2015 and the refreshingly packaged closing banquet where we hope to feed you until you are “fed up”.
“We shall have more energized MCPD sessions and I urge colleagues to utilize this forum to earn credit points as the re-certification process beckons.
“Colleagues, I have deplored all my skills, talent and wisdom to take this profession to the next level in the last three years. It is time to take a bow for a new lease of life. I thank you all for the immensity of your liberality which obviously nurtured and sustained my PSN career in the almost thirty years I have been a player at State, National and International levels.
“The PSN is great not just in quality of persons but in spirit and I appeal that in the years ahead we need to improve in the areas of discipline and core values in order to cope with the pace of development on all frontiers of our environment.
“Do enjoy yourselves at the conference because I am sure you reckon there are conferences and there is the conference, Unity 2015.
“Thank you, even as “Unity 2015” brings out the change mantra.”